MIKE HEDGES AM SPEAKS UP FOR COUNCIL HOUSE BUILDING AT THE SENEDD.

MIKE HEDGES AM SPEAKS UP FOR COUNCIL HOUSE BUILDING AT THE SENEDD.

Speaking during a debate on the need to establish a Legal Right to adequate housing in Wales, Swansea East AM Mike Hedges said …. ‘ I fully support Dawn Bowden in her desire to see a legal right to adequate housing established in Wales. I believe that the provision of adequate housing in Wales can only come about if there is a significant increase in the number of council houses built. We need to see an end to the negative stereotyping of Council Housing and the people who live in them; we need to see Council Housing as desirable places to live, raise children and grow old. New communities of council housing will have knock on effects on other areas of the housing market as I described in my speech. Everyone should have the right to a good home and it should be underpinned by a legal right.’

Mike Hedges AM – Firstly, I want to say ‘thank you’ to Dawn Bowden for giving me a minute of her time. It’s strange, really, because David Melding, Dawn and I quite often speak on housing and often our speeches are interchangeable.548
After sustenance, housing is the next human need. I want to highlight inadequate housing. The 1950s and 1960s saw large-scale slum clearance and large-scale council house building providing housing for people like my family as we moved from privately rented housing. A large number of houses previously privately rented were bought by individuals to be their home. We have now seen many of these bought, some in very large numbers, by individuals often living many miles away to be rented out. I cannot see any way of dealing with inadequate housing except by large-scale council house building. We should also see an increase in the number owning their homes as currently privately rented properties will return to owner occupation. It is not serendipity that the time of a large increase in council housing coincided with a large increase in owner occupation.